By now most Nigerian media watchers would have seen the viral video of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris stumbling through a prepared statement at the commissioning event for the Police Technical Intelligence Unit in Kano.
To say the IGP’s speech, delivered on Monday but the clip going viral on Wednesday, was unintelligible is the least of the worries of most Nigerians.
In the now infamous 2-minute clip, IGP Idris, reading off an apparently poorly-worded script, was stuck on the repeated use of the word “transmission”. At a point an aide came to the podium to guide the head of police through what became an even bigger embarrassment when the IGP continued to struggle with what was now clear to guests as an incoherent statement.
Hours after the video went viral on Thursday, there has been no official word from the Nigerian Police nor the Inspector General; but the Presidency did offer an explanation, with a tweet coming from Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Diaspora & Foreign Affairs.
She suggested on Twitter that the video was doctored and edited to make the IGP look bad.
“This video is definitely doctored,” she posted, going on to explain that “The error was made once, then special effects used to repeat it. What I don’t understand is why anyone would believe. Well, it’s a Social Media world.”
However, most Nigerians are not buying what had been a line of conspiracy the moment the video went viral. It has inspired many taunts and commentary on what might have led to the gaffe. But with no definite word coming from either the Inspector General or senior police Commissioners, some Nigerians are left wondering if there might be more to worry about Idris’ ‘fitness’ for office, and if this incident might lead to the ouster of an already embattled Inspector General who, only last week, was the subject of a vote of no-confidence by the Senate.
Whatever the case might be, the Inspector General’s unfortunate ‘break in transmission’ served as comic relief for a country already on edge with a series of security crises Mr Idris has struggled to master since his appointment.